Saturday once again brings us a full schedule of 15 games with six early games, three afternoon games, and six games on the main slate. In this article, I will be looking at my core plays at each position for the early slate.
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With that, let’s jump into the picks.
The Padres #5 prospect(via MLB.com) had a terrific major league debut on Sunday. He went five innings holding the Giants to just two hits and one earned runs while striking out seven and walking just one. He only ended up throwing 79 pitches and I would expect that to climb as we move forward. The matchup is a little tougher this time around on the road in St. Louis but the Cards have started slow sitting mid-pack in almost all hitting categories and are striking out at a 29% rate as a team. If you have a team stack you like and have extra salary, I also like Corbin who is coming off a season where he recorded a 11.1 K/9 and 15.6% swinging strike rate. Both can be considered in all formats.
Also Consider: Patrick Corbin(WSH) who has the highest ceiling of any pitcher on the slate
From a PTS/$ perspective, Jose Abreu is my top play at first base on the early slate. He has been consistent to start the season with hits in five of six games with a double, two home runs, and seven RBI. Looking at the matchup, I am not buying into Mike Leake’s first start where he held the Red Sox to two runs while striking out seven in six innings. This after posting a 4.14 ERA with 15.9% K rate over the last two years. Fire up Abreu in all formats today.
Also Consider: Eric Hosmer(SD) as a value play
Second base is a place I love to find value, especially for cash games, and Josh Harrison is where I am aiming on Saturday. It has been a slow start to the season as he is hitting just .148 but comes in with hits in three straight and also added two walks, three runs, and two stolen bases in his last game. He will continue to get opportunity as the Tigers leadoff hitter and they are a home favorite today against Jorge Lopez who go rocked in his first start giving up four earned runs(two home runs) to the White Sox and posted a 5.03 ERA/4.72 xFIP a season ago. His price gives us flexibility to pay up for pitching and a couple bats.
Also Consider: Yoan Moncada(CWS)
The Mariners are off to a red-hot start offensively with a 162 wRC+, .377 wOBA, and .256 ISO and have been getting production from top to bottom. One of those players providing value at the bottom of the order is Ryon Healy who has hits in seven of nine games with six doubles, three home runs, and nine runs scored. He will face Lucas Giolito who was excellent in his first start but flashed that upside last season but spent more time turning his head as the opposition was crushing it. He finished 2018 with a 6.13 ERA/5.46 xFIP and gave up 27 home runs. Healy is my top PTS/$ play at the third base position.
Also Consider: Maikel Franco(PHI) who is on a tear to start the season
Polanco is coming off a solid 2018 season where he tallied a .288 average with .345 on-base percentage and has carried that over to this year. He was held hitless in the Twins first game but has at least one in each of the last five including a monster four-hit effort last night where he hit his first home run of the season. He faces a pitcher in Jake Arrieta who struggled to find control with his secondary pitches in his first start and walked six. If he struggles again, I think the Twins can get to him and Polanco will most likely be right in the middle of it hitting second in the lineup. He is in play in all formats.
Also Consider: Tim Beckham(SEA)
Back to the Mariners to close things out and it is new addition, Domingo Santana who has played his last four season for the Brewers. The big difference this season is that he is hitting near the top of the lineup for the Mariners in the middle of a red-hot offense. He has hits in seven of nine games this season with two doubles, four home runs, and 13 RBI. Like I mentioned above, i am not buying into Giolito’s first start and will have lots of Mariners exposure in all formats.
Also Consider: Wil Myers(SD)